Biden in Warsaw: “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia”

February 21,2023 718
Biden in Warsaw: “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia”

U.S. President Joe Biden vowed in a fiery speech Tuesday to continue supporting Ukraine as it enters a second year of full-scale war, repeatedly denouncing Russian President Vladimir Putin and promising the United States would not waver even as the conflict enters a new, more uncertain phase, CNN reported from Warsaw, Poland.

In his second major address in less than a year from the same Royal Castle, Biden said before a large, energetic crowd that Western resolve was stiffening in the face of Putin’s assault on democracy.

He used his trip to the Ukrainian capital a day earlier as evidence that the democracies of the world are growing stronger in the face of autocracy, repeatedly noting Kyiv remained in Ukrainian hands despite the early expectations inside the Kremlin.

“One year ago, the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv. Well, I’ve just come from a visit to Kyiv and I can report Kyiv stands strong. Kyiv stands proud, it stands tall, and most important, it stands free,” Biden said as a crowd, many waving American flags, cheered underneath cold rain.

“When Russia invaded, it was not just Ukraine being tested. The whole world faced a test for the ages,” he said. “Europe was being tested. America was being tested. NATO was being tested.”

In much of the remarks, Biden appeared to speak almost directly to Putin, saying, “Autocrats only understand one word: No. No, no. No, you will not take my country. No, you will not take my freedom. No, you will not take my future.”

“Ukraine, Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia. Never,” Biden said to applause.

Earlier that day, Biden and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda met in the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

“The leaders reflected on their shared efforts to support Ukraine, impose consequences on Russia, and strengthen NATO,” the White House reported. “President Biden praised the generous support of the people of Poland for welcoming over 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees into their communities. In addition, the leaders discussed their countries’ growing cooperation in the energy sector, including civil nuclear energy, our strong bilateral defense relationship, and the importance of the democratic values that underpin the transatlantic alliance.”

The two presidents’ meeting took place the next day after Biden’s unexpected visit to Kyiv, which so much encouraged the Ukrainians and saddened the Russians.

Following the discussion, Duda began his speech by thanking Biden for that visit to Kyiv. “It was spectacular, indeed. A very strategic and very political move. Very crucial indeed. That was a political signal,” the Polish president said.

He said that Russia’s president Putin, eight years after his first attack against Ukraine in 2014, “decided to attack Ukraine on a full scale, causing a tragedy and a catastrophe for millions of the inhabitants of Ukraine and causing a huge crisis — both a crisis of security and economic crisis all over the world and also a humanitarian crisis.”

“He doomed millions of people to a tragic fate. Those people had to flee from their country, from bombs, from murders, from rapes, [..] from horrible, brutal, and bestial treatment from Russian soldiers,” said Duda.

The Polish leader stressed that the United States has repeatedly demonstrated its responsibility for European matters during the two world wars and the Cold War, every time restoring democratic rules and bringing back freedom.

“So, all of us, we’re looking at what you did yesterday, and we believe that America is able to maintain the global order, to guard the global order, and to show all the aggressors who want to destroy other people’s lives, who want to take control of other countries, who want to enslave other nations — it shows that there is no acceptance of the democratic community, represented by the United States of America, to such behavior, to such acts,” Duda said.

In return, Biden said “the United States needs Poland and NATO as much as NATO needs the United States.”

“For our ability to operate anywhere else in the world, and our responsibilities extend beyond Europe, we have to have security in Europe. It’s that basic, that simple, that consequential, the POTUS said.

He thanked Duda and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for how Poland is supporting Ukraine. He said he was in Poland last year, watching people come across the border from Ukraine – mothers and children who left their husbands and fathers behind. “It was just incredible the way you welcomed them,” Biden said.

Photo: President Joe Biden delivers a speech marking the one-year anniversary of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at the Royal Castle Gardens in Warsaw. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci via CNN)